The court also restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and others from excluding Governor Obaseki or any other aspirants who has been cleared by the party from participating in the gubernatorial primary.
Recall, it had been reported that the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, had on Monday restrained Obaseki from taking part in the primaries based on a suit filed by the PDP governorship aspirant, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama. Ogbedie-Ihama had prayed the court to restrain the governor from participating in the exercise based on grounds that he did not purchase the form within the time stated in the party’s time-table, However, Justice Okeaya-Inneh who ruled on a suit brought by one Felix Irioh on Tuesday declared that the PDP cannot stop the governor from participating in the governorship primaries.
The judge asked that the governor be allowed to contest the primaries because the PDP granted him a waiver to contest the election on its platform. He said: “I find in my humble view that the applicants have satisfied the guidelines for the grant of the orders sought as enjoined in the celebrated landmark case of Kotoye v CBN (1989), 1 NWLR PT. 98, 419 at 441.
“The balance of convenience is in favour of the 1st and 2nd applicants and there is no undue delay in bringing this application. It is in that light that I find merit in this application.“The applicants sought an Order of Interim Injunction restraining INEC from however refusing to recognize and/or accept the name of any of the aspirants named in paragraph 2 above especially Mr. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki as lawful aspirants having been lawfully screened and cleared by the 2nd Defendant to participate in the 2nd primary election scheduled to hold on the 25th June 2020 in any report of the monitoring of the said primaries pending the hearing of the Motion On Notice.”
The judge adjourned the matter till July 1 for a hearing of pending applications. Recall that the PDP had, last week granted a waiver to Governor Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, to contest on its platform. The opposition party also postponed its governorship primary earlier scheduled for Tuesday, June 23 to Thursday, June 25, 2020.
Wednesday 24th of June 2020